CHICAGO (WLS) — A 43-year-old Chicago man has been charged in connection with an apparent road rage shooting on Lake Shore Drive downtown.
A 21-month-old boy was shot in the head near Grant Park on Tuesday. He remains hospitalized in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Lurie Children’s Hospital, where doctors have placed him in a medical coma.
Jushawn Brown was arrested after Chicago police said he pulled out a gun Tuesday while in a car on Lake Shore Drive and shot at another vehicle in traffic during a road rage incident.
Brown of Englewood was arrested in Streeterville. He faces a felony charge of unlawful use of a weapon as a felon.
The child was in the same car as Brown, police said.
After Brown began shooting, the other driver shot back, police said, and one of the bullets hit the toddler.
While the boy’s condition has not worsened over the last 24 hours, he is still critically ill. Hospital officials said the little boy’s mother and grandmother are sitting by his bedside.
The confrontation started on Lake Shore Drive near Waldron and ended in a crash at Monroe. A good Samaritan driving by the scene rushed the boy to Lurie Children’s Hospital.
WATCH | Doctor gives update on toddler’s condition
“He’s still in a medical coma that we have placed him in to protect his brain during the injury. We’re providing him with the medications to support his brain and to support his heart during this time,” said Dr. Marcelo Malakooti, associate chief medical officer with Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Doctors said they are cautiously hopeful for the toddler’s recovery, but note that with this type of severe brain injury, conditions can change rapidly.
The boy, identified as Kayden Swann by family, is off life support, his great-grandfather Clifton Marvel said Wednesday. Doctors expect him to pull through.
Chicago police said shots were first fired on Lake Shore Drive near the Shedd Aquarium just after 11 a.m. Tuesday and continued for two blocks.
“It’s astounding to me that people have so little regard for human life in general,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. “It’s particularly astounding to me when people have so little regard to human life, when there are children as passengers in cars, as we saw yesterday.”
Investigators say the shooting may have started as a road rage incident.
“There was a dispute possibly over not letting somebody into a lane of traffic,” Chicago police Cmdr. Jacob Alderden said.
WATCH | Chicago police give update after toddler shot on Lake Shore Drive
Relatives said Kayden was in the car with his grandmother and her boyfriend, later identified as Brown, at the time of the shooting.
Police have not given any other details about the driver of the other vehicle.
Neighbors of the couple say they hope little Kayden will recover. One neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she spoke with the boy’s grandmother Wednesday morning.
“She was numb and had no sleep all night, I could tell in her face,” the neighbor said.
The grandmother told her how she narrowly missed being shot herself.
“She said if she wouldn’t been sitting – if the seat wouldn’t have been pushed back – she would have been shot in the neck,” the neighbor said.
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A handgun was recovered from the vehicle that the child was in.
Community activists, led by Ja’Mal Green, are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
“We need to bring this horrible person to justice,” said Green.
Kayden’s great-grandfather wouldn’t comment on the details of the case, but he said he believes the violence should be curbed.
He’s hoping to meet with the mayor and police superintendent to share some of his ideas.
“Well there’s a number of ideas that I have that would take some of these kids off the street and give them a different direction,” Marvel said.
Brown is due in bond court Thursday.
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